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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 August 2015
18 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 22 AUGUST 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greek crisis does not deter romance writer Debut novelist Diana Karezi pens multicultural Greek island romance NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU Despite the current Greek debt crisis, holidaymakers from all over the world are still flocking to Greece to enjoy the sea and sunshine provided by the Greek islands. Greek-born but Melboune- raised author Diana Karezi is very aware of Greece's strong appeal. Not only does she write about handsome Greek men but she also uses her vibrant Greek Australian cultural heritage as the main theme of her sizzling romance book Surrender, published by Australian eBook publisher this July 2015. Diana Karezi is the pen name of Dora Kitinas, who is also a visual artist. Kitinas shares her time between her Melbourne home in St Kilda and her apartment in Athens, Greece, overlooking the Acropolis. She writes travel and culinary articles for numerous newspapers and magazines, and has enjoyed a successful career as a professional visual artist. She loves to cook traditional Greek food for her extended family, which includes son-in-law Ross Wilson of Mondo Rock fame and her granddaughter, Neighbours star Olympia Valance. "Through a historical and mythological journey, I wish to entwine Greek culinary culture together with the local customs," says Kitinas. "I want my readers to try and discover for themselves on what island this impossible love story is set on." Her novel, titled Surrender, is set on an unnamed Greek island. Kitinas' leading characters all have Greek backgrounds and are usually conflicted about where they belong. In this way, the author takes her readers on a journey through the Greek islands, from Athens all the way back to Melbourne. "I fell in love with Greece in the ‘70s and that feeling tortured me," Kitinas tells Neos Kosmos. "My passion for Greece made me move to Athens in the ‘80s, where I spent 13 years of my adult life." "In order to do so, I had to part with my life in Melbourne," she admits. Surrender tells the story of Hope, a Greek Australian woman, who, after a messy divorce, escapes to a summer spent in solitude on a Greek island paradise. Whilst enjoying a holiday on the Greek islands, Hope not only gains a potpourri of summertime friends but also the attention of Jason. A summer romance is fine, but Jason is much younger and wants more. Can he persuade this headstrong, worldly, older woman? Can this alluring younger man provide a second chance of love? The author also tackles issues of feminism, sexism and, most controversially, gay marriage. "I have many gay friends and thought it natural to include gay characters in my book in order to represent the modern lifestyle of today." Kitinas is currently working on the next steamy book of the Greek Affair Series, preferably in the sun on a Greek island with a cold glass of Ouzo. For more information, head over to www.facebook. com/DianaKarezi and www.dianakarezi.com Surrender is available as an ebook from www.amazon. com.au/dp/B00ZH2AP10 Surrender is book one of the Greek Affair Series: Journey to the Greek Islands - Journey to Love. Antipodean Palette up and running Greek Australian Cultural League of Melbourne celebrates its 46th anniversary Antipodean Palette 2015 officially opened its gates to welcome the public on 13 August, attracting more visitors than ever. This year's exhibition, the fifth of its kind, includes paintings, prints and digital art, photography, mixed media, collage, silvercraft and 3D installations. Hosted by Connie Gregory, an invaluable member of the GACL committee, the event was attended by many enthusiasts and supporters of the visual arts as well as Ms Christina Simantiraki, Consul General of Greece in Melbourne. Ms Simantiraki praised both the participating artists and the efforts of the Greek Australian Cultural League, whose aim is to advance and showcase the creative endeavours of Greek Australians. She said she hopes that the GACL will continue to support in this vein the work of the numerous artists that exist in our community, thus continuing to raise the standard of workmanship exhibited. Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley inaugurated the exhibition with an inspirational speech, congatulating the GACL for its foresight to hold such events and continue a tradition that is an essential part of our community's existence. "This diversity in materials points to a common thread in that many of the works reflect Argyropoulos, Anne Warren, WA artist group 'Masonik', Christos Avramoudas, Con Emmanuelle, Effie Mandalos, Frixos Ioannides, James Raftopoulos, Jenny Dumont, Mary Raphael, Sofronis Michaelides, Soula Mantalvanos, Thalia Andrews and Tony Pierrakos, and wished them every success in their creative endeavours A special mention and the confluence of the different cultures," Mr Foley said. "It's important that as a successful multicultural community we have opportunities to explore a range of creative and cultural expressions and to celebrate the cultures that have made Victoria what it is today ... our diverse cultures are an integral part of our social and cultural fabric - and we are stronger for their contribution." GACLs president Cathy Alexopoulos welcomed all present and stressed that this annual group exhibition is part of the main aims of the league, with its 46-year history making it one of the oldest and most prominent cultural organisations in Australia. The president congratulated all 15 participating artists - Angy Labiris, Agi congratulations were made to Vasy Petros, coordinator of the Antipodean Palette 2015, for her inspirational and dedicated contribution to this year's exhibition. Cathy Alexopoulos also thanked the distinguished guests, visitors, committee members, and of course, the loyal supporters of the GACL - Neos Kosmos, Ta Nea, 3XY, SBS Radio, ERT, 3ZZZ, Omiros College, Kalimera Kids and Touchdown Tours.
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